May 5th, 2018
Tiger Woods makes cut despite misfiring putter
GP Ed analyses how Wells Fargo display reveals a lot
Words: Tim Southwell
Tiger Woods experienced an unfortunate bout of the touchy-feelies in the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship. And it's enough to make you think he's actually more like us than you might think.
He hit the ball great but his Scotty Cameron putter was having none of it. As he marched off to the putting green post-round he announced: "I'm gonna try to get a little more 'hit' in the stroke. I have to trust it, what I keep telling myself, but the feels are telling me another thing."
If you've ever had a touch of the 'feels' not working in sync with the 'trusts' you'll know exactly how he feels.
Finaly on the last hole, Tiger nailed a putt from outside six feet. It left him two over for the day and for the tournament, and one shot inside the cut line.
Tiger got a first sense that the golfing gods had put his comeback on hold for a while at the par-5 10th, where he missed a 12-footer for birdie. Worse, it was short and low which is tanta mount to scrilege for a tour player.
Further missed opportunities came at the 11th (from eight feet, for par), 12th (from 11 feet, for birdie) 13th (from 12 feet, for birdie) and 14th (from seven feet, for par), leaving himself two over par through five holes.
"That's not a combo that you find very often," said Tier of the greens. "Where they're firm but on the slower side. If I can just putt — literally, if I just putt normal, I'm probably five or six under par.
"I've missed so many putts. Putts I missed yesterday, I was blocking them, trying to hit them the right pace. Today, I was pulling them, trying to hit them harder, try to put more hit in my stroke and release the toe of my putter, and I just wasn't doing it right today.”
Christ, it sounds like one of us, right? When the game, for no apparent reason, decides to bewilder and befuddle and turn 18 holes with a card in your hand into a cheky nine and a quick livener in the bar.
To be fair, Tiger was blasting his 3-wood over 300 yards from the tee, his driver even further, and smoking his reliable 2-iron stinger around the Quail Hollow, Charlotte course.
"I just can't believe how long this golf course has become," he said. "They've made some adjustments, they've made it more difficult; harder, longer." But it was the shortest shots of the day that continued to frustrate Woods.
Every time Tiger got in to position, his putter stayed cold. Until his fin al hole, the 9th, that is. After booming his driver off the tee, he wedged-in, leaving himself seven foot a left-to-righter down the hill. When that drained into the hole, Tiger self-mockingly raised his arms, said "finally!" and grinned in relief.
And just like us, this one moment of success is the main takeaway from the day, the instance that you remember, the moment that makes you keep coming back for more.
In other news, here are all the highlights from round two where Malnati leads, Jason Day is second, Paul Casey third and all my bets suddenly look futile... damn you, Tony Finau...